The Vice President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede; a former National Trustee Alhaji Alamu Otegbeye, other past and present leaders of the union have thrown their weights behind the decision of the Lagos Council Chairman Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya (aka MC Oluomo) and members of the union in the state to withdraw their membership from the national body.
Alhaji Agbede accused the national secretariat of creating problems in the Lagos state council by meddling into its affairs.
“The constitution,” he said “allows the state council to run the affairs of the state. It is the duty of the state secretary to give official monthly reports of activities of the state to the national Secretariat. But under this regime, the president (Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa) wants to know and oversee Lagos State. The President has no business about how inauguration of branches and zones are being done.”
Agbede, who is the immediate past Chairman of the Lagos State Council, said the tricycles and motorcycles’ operators are under the state council.
Agbede said: “On the issue of Tricycle Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN), the state chairman has the right to divide the TOOAN of NURTW into zones. I did similar thing during my tenure to Okada riders’ union otherwise called Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS). When I came, it was one body under Comrade Tijani Pekis, but I divided it into zones without any interference from the national headquarters. It is within the powers of the state chairman to create, divide and expand to enhance administrative convenience.”
He accused Baruwa of neglecting the structures of the union in going about his official duties.
“Another mistake made by the national headquarters is the neglect of the strictures. I am the National Vice President in charge of Southwest, but the headquarters don’t involve me in any issue going in my zone. It is not appropriate. Let us learn to do things appropriately. The president should let the state council be. Whatever information he needs should be given to him by the state secretary through monthly reports,” he stated.
Alhaji Otegbeye, who is also Special Adviser to national president, said leaders of the union won’t allow Baruwa to destabilise the state council.
He promised to join other leaders to expel anyone hobnobbing with Baruwa to destroy the Lagos State Council.
Former National Head of Women Affairs, Comrade Bola Lemboye said the elders are backing Akinsanya’s action.
“We don’t want crisis in Lagos State. We won’t allow what happen in Ogun State to repeat itself in Lagos. We are peaceful people,” she said.
The pioneer Chairman of NURTW in Lagos State, Comrade Samuel Jonah, urged Baruwa to be guided by the union’s constitution in his action.
Jonah described as unfortunate the action of the national body.
According to him, the administration of Akinsanya has been peaceful since coming on board.
Former NURTW Lagos State Council Chairman Alhaji Alao Adewuyi accused Baruwa of not respecting elders in the union.
Adewuyi warned those fraternising with him to destabilise Lagos to desist or face the music.
We cannot allow a peaceful atmosphere we’re enjoying now be truncated because of selfish agenda of some people. We support actions taken by Akinsanya and members of the union in the state,” he said.
Senior Special Adviser to National Present Stephen Falusi said he was surprised by Baruwa’s action.
“We’re not fighting the national body; we only want those in Abuja to abide by the union’s constitution and stop creating crisis. We, the elders, are with Akinsanya on this matter. This association is too big to be rubbished by anyone. We have graduates and educated people among us, so we can’t run it like a lawless organisation. We are disappointed in the actions of the national body,” Falusi said.